Skip to main content

Senior activist alleges, nearly 60% of South Gujarat tribals fail to get land under Forest Rights Act

Manjula Pradeep at the rally venue
By Our Representative
In an important revelation, nearly 60 per cent of the tribals of the Chhotaudepur region in South Gujarat have still not been given land titles they are entitled to under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. A representation by Manjula Pradeep of Ahmedabad-based NGO Navsarjan Trust, which organized a powerful rally in Chhotaudepur town to press for tribal rights, has said, out 13,381 applications for land under FRA, only 5,498 applications have so far been approved, while the rest "remain to to be cleared."
The representation, handed over to the district collector, Chhotaudepur, demanded "early clearance of the pending applications", insisting, "A high-powered investigation in the poor rate of implementation of the FRA should be ordered to find out the reasons behind the delay." The NGO's revelation comes close on the heels of a Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India report, which said that in Gujarat just about 40 per cent of the applications are pending, and this is worse than 13 other Indian states.
The document shows, as of December-end 2014, Gujarat, an early starter, was able to dispose of just 39.97 per cent, or 75,974 claims, out of 1,90,051 tribals who had applied for land titles. This is against the national average of a whopping 82.60 per cent (17,13,519 out of 39,59,0190). The document, titled “Status report on implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 for the period ending December 31, 2014”, was sent to the Cabinet Secretariat on January 16, 2015.
Navsarjan, in its representation, regretted that despite the fact that many tribals in four talukas of the district -- Chhotaudepur, Kavant, Jetpur-Pavi and Sankheda -- are now farmers, they have no irrigation facilities. "The Narmada Dam is not very far from Chhotaudepur, yet there are no canals to serve the tribal areas. Instead, waters are flowing far away to Kutch, Saurashtra and North Gujarat. Hence, the tribal farmers have to depend heavily on rains for irrigating their fields", the representation said.
Then, it pointed out that the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is not being implemented properly. "While large number of tribals in the district do have NREGA job cards, they are unable to get any employment. The result is that, large number of them have to migrate to other towns and cities in search of jobs. This has its adverse impact on children's education. According to our estimate, every year 70 per cent of the tribals migrate out", the representation said.
The representation also refers to failure to implement the right to education law in Chhotaudepur, lack of basic facilities like electricity and drinking water water in individual households, refusal to give tribals the housing subsidy in order to build their own houses, refusal of the police to take complaints from the tribals, refusal to make list many tribals in the below poverty list (BPL), lack of fair price shops, and so on. Calling all this "violation of the basic civil rights", the representation demanded fast alleviation of the problems.

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.